In the midst of the mass exodus that ensued when the final three races at Saturday's Group Championships at Holmdel Park were postponed due to bad weather conditions, some big questions arose.
After the girls Non-Public A race, boys Group 2 race, and boys Non-Public A races were moved to this Tuesday at 2 p.m. because of Saturday's thunderstorms, several coaches wondered if the wild card system would remain the same since not every team would be racing on the same day? Also, would the Meet of Champions, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20, be moved to give runners who are racing on Tuesday more recovery/training time prior to the M of C?
"The wild card system (8 wild card teams/10 runners) will stay the same,'' said Al Stumpf, the NJSIAA Cross-Country Tournament Director said. "There is no reason to change it.''
But Stumpf said moving the Meet of Champions is on the table.
"Moving the Meet of Champions to give teams and runners more time between races is something we will talk about tomorrow,'' said Stumpf, who halted the meet on Saturday at around 2:50 p.m. after two lightning delays. "Holmdel Park is available on Monday (Nov. 20), so that's something we are looking at.''
Stumpf said he hopes to have a final decision on moving the Meet of Champions by tomorrow (Sunday).
This wouldn't be the first time the Meet of Champions got moved.
Do you remember what happened in 2012?
That's the year that Hurricane Sandy caused a big shakeup in the state XC schedule, and the Meet of Champions was held on a Wednesday, four days after the Group Championships. The legendary Tom Heath, the CBA coach at the time, decided that with the Nike Northeast Regional just three days after the M of C, he was going to sit out his top five guys at the M of C. CBA still won the M of C with its JV team!!!! It's one of the most amazing accomplishments in U.S. high school XC history!!!
Another question that came up on Saturday was why the remaining three races were moved to Tuesday instead of Sunday or Monday?
"There are a lot of factors,'' said Stumpf. "One of them is giving the park enough time to get the course cleaned up. The rangers told me a tree fell down today and part of it landed on the course. Another reason was giving schools enough time to get transportation, and the park said Tuesday worked better for them.''